Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah on Wednesday defended his threat to filibuster the debate on any gun control bill.
Lee has joined twelve other Republicans who vowed to prevent the Senate from bringing up gun control bills for consideration. But several Republicans have also stated their intention to vote for the motion to proceed to debate.
“Contrary to the statements made by the president and my friends across the aisle, and even a few in my own caucus, we have no intention of preventing debate or votes,” he claimed on the Senate floor. “Quite the opposite. By objecting to the motion to proceed, we guarantee that the Senate and the American people have at least three additional days to assess and evaluate exactly how this particular bill will affect the rights of law-abiding citizens and whether it will have any significant impact on crime.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blasted the filibuster threat on Sunday, saying the “purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote and to let the people know where we stand.”
Lee also chided Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) for working together on legislation to require background checks at gun shows and for Internet sales, which will be offered as an amendment to the gun bill.
“This is deeply troubling to many Americans,” Lee remarked. “Any legislation that would restrict our basic right to self-defense deserves serious and open debate. Further, as we have seen just today, Washington prefers to negotiate back room deals made in secret far from the eyes of the American people, rather than engaging in thorough, open, and transparent debate on the Senate floor.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: